K-State Wins Big 12 Opener, Winning Streak Hits 10




7-5 (0-1 Big 12)

12-2 (1-0 Big 12)

Alexis Conaway: 13 kills, .367%, 1 block
Monique Harris: 40 assists, 8 digs
Jess Schaben: 13 kills, .391%, 7 digs, 2 blocks

Katie Reininger: 14 kills, .545%, 7 blocks
Katie Brand: 42 assists, 14 digs, 6 blocks, 4 blocks
Bryna Vogel: 13 kills, .323%, 15 digs

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5
Iowa State 25 17 17 15 --
K-State 21 25 25 25 --

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Despite an opening set loss, the No. 23 Kansas State volleyball team won its Big 12 opener over Iowa State in four sets (21-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15) Wednesday night at Ahearn Field House. K-State extended its winning streak to 10 matches behind a season-high 14 kills from middle blocker Katie Reininger.

Reininger, who ended the first set with just one kill on three attempts while committing two errors (-.333), did not commit a single attacking error in the final three sets of the match with 13 kills on 19 total attempts (.684). The redshirt senior led a trio of players in double-figure kills – junior right-side hitter Bryna Vogel (13) and senior outside hitter Brooke Sassin (10) – and has been the Cats’ leader in kills in two of the past four matches.

“We stayed resilient,” head coach Suzie Fritz said after the match. “I thought we got better as we went. It’s something we talk about quite a bit. We talk about staying the course and getting better as we go.”

K-State (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) started the match strong as it opened an early 5-1 lead and maintained a lead late into the first set. Iowa State (7-5, 0-1) took its first lead at 21-20 before closing out the set, 25-21, scoring five of the final six points and ending the set with four straight.

The Cyclones hit .303 (15k-5e-33ta) in the first set compared to the Wildcats’ .091 (9d-6e-33ta). It was the only set ISU hit a higher percentage than K-State and the only set in which the Cats allowed a percentage over .150.

“We had to stabilize our serve-receive a little bit,” Fritz added. “We were scrambling and having to play out of system too much. Once we got that reeled in a bit, I thought it changed the dynamic of the match.”

The Second and third sets looked remarkably similar, with the Cats winning each 25-17 while holding Iowa State under a .100 attacking percentage and recording four team blocks. Reininger tallied five kills in each set, including five on five swings in the third set for a perfect hitting percentage.

K-State, sparked by an 11-3 run in the heart of the fourth set, opened up an 18-9 lead before finishing the set, and the match, 25-15. The Cats never trailed in the final set and committed only two errors in each of the final two frames.

K-State blocked five Cyclone attacks in the fourth set, a match high, and rejected four in both the second and third sets. The Wildcats finished with 14 team blocks while ISU had just four, two of which came in the opening game.

“Serve and pass was big,” said Fritz. “I thought we minimized our errors in the third and fourth sets better than we did early on. We scrambled well and we played very, very spontaneously. I thought that’s where we were really good. We got our hands on a lot of ball, it wasn’t always pretty but it worked.”

Sassin set a new career high with four service aces in the match, including two in the final set.

Redshirt senior setter Katie Brand and Vogel each recorded double-doubles in the match - Brand with 42 assists and 14 digs while Vogel added a match-high 15 digs to go with her 13 kills. It was Brand’s third straight match with an assist-dig double-double and her team-leading seventh overall. Vogel now has a double-double in two straight matches and five overall this year.

K-State travels to Waco, Texas, to face Baylor (12-4, 0-0) for its first conference road match of the season. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. CT. Fans can watch the match on Fox Sports Southwest Plus or listen on 1350 KMAN.


·         Iowa State now leads the all-time series 48-41. K-State is 22-18 against ISU at home.

·         K-State has now won its last five home matches against Iowa State and its last two Big 12 home openers.

·         The 10 consecutive wins is one shy of equaling its longest in the 2014 season.

·         Reininger led the team in kills for the second time this season and the second time in the last four matches.

·         Vogel, who hit .323 in the match, has now hit over .300 in eight consecutive matches.

·         Brand tallied her 58th career double-double. She ranks second on K-State’s career double-doubles list (Kim Zschau, 69).

·         It was the seventh match in which K-State has recorded at least 10 team blocks (7-0 in those matches).

·         As the No. 23 team in the country, K-State is now 16-6 (.727), and has won its last two at that ranking.